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Archive for October, 2013

From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

vintage push button telephone

vintage push button telephone (Photo credit: H is for Home)

Raw: uninitiated; a novice. Old. Frequently a Johnny Raw.

Raw: a tender point, a foible; “to touch a man up on the Raw” is to irritate one by alluding to, or joking him, anything on which he is particularly susceptible or “thin-skinned.”

(I suppose today we would call the second one “pushing one’s buttons.” There probably weren’t nearly so many buttons to push in everyday life back then.)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

Paris Exposition: Palace of Decorative Arts, P...

Paris Exposition: Palace of Decorative Arts, Paris, France, 1900 (Photo credit: Brooklyn Museum)

Rattler: a cab, coach, or cart. Old Cant.

Rattlers: a railway; “on the Rattlers to the stretchers,” i.e., going to the races by railway.

(Apt terms. Before the invention of shock absorbers and modern paving, just about any form of transport could rattle the teeth out of your head.)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

Shake your head!

Shake your head! (Photo credit: Javmorcas)

Rattlecap: an unsteady, volatile person.

(Interesting, and very visual. It does give the idea of a person whose head – or mind – is in constant motion.)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

An exclamation point in a Red Circle

Rather!: a ridiculous street exclamation synonymous with yes; “do you like fried chickens?” “Rather!” “Are you going our of town? “Rather!

Rather of the Ratherest: a phrase applied to anything slightly in excess or defect.

(Is it my birthday? Rather! Yes, today  is in fact my birthday.

I find “Rather!” more charming than ridiculous, but that’s just me. I’m going to try to use it all day today. Will that annoy my friends? Rather!

Not sure why the second one uses rather in a negative way when it’s such a positive exclamation. )

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

Frontispiece from "Tattered Tom"

Frontispiece from “Tattered Tom” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rapscallion: a low tattered wretch.

(Hmmm, interesting how the meaning has changed. Today it applies to someone who is mischievous and a bit underhanded. I wonder how the change came about.)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

English: Newgate Exercise yard by Gustave Dore...

English: Newgate Exercise yard by Gustave Dore , from ‘London : A pilgrimage’ by Gustave Dore and Blanchard Jerrold 1872 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quod: a prison, or lock up; Quodded, put in prison.  A slang expression used by Mr. Hughes, in Tom Brown’s Schooldays (Macmillan’s Magazine, January, 1860), throws light upon the origin of this now very common street term; “Flogged or whipped in Quad,” says the delineator of student life, in allusion to chastisement inflicted within the Quadrangle of a college. Quadrangle is the term given to the prison inclosure within which culprits are allowed to walk, and where whippings were formerly inflicted. Quadrangle also represents a building of four sides; and to be “within Four Walls, ” or prison, is the frequent slang lamentation of unlucky vagabonds.

(Glad no one is flogged at college these days. I love learning about history, but really, who’d want to go there. Way too much whipping going on.)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

English: President Barack Obama speaks to a jo...

Quockerwodgers… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quockerwodger: a wooden toy figure, which, when pulled by a string, jerks its limbs about. The term is used in a slang sense to signify a pseudo-politician, one whose strings of action are pulled by somebody else. West.

( I think I’ve got a new name for congressmen. It sounds even more insulting than it is. Let’s bring this one back!)

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Map of Silidor Valley on Kickstarter

Map of Silidor Valley on Kickstarter

Once more, off topic, but very exciting!

Our Kickstarter project is over 200% funded! That’s right, we asked for $2000 to get our map printed and out to the public and backers have pledged over $4000! I’m blown away. And quite humbled by the reaction! It’s been a great experience.

Besides writing swashbucklers, I’m also an artist. So while I’ve been doing the marketing for Lady Blade and researching a prequel, I’ve also been working on a side project. It’s a map of my home, the San Francisco Bay Area, done in fantasy style.  A Map of Silidor Valley instead of Silicon Valley.

Our Kickstarter project concludes on October 25th, which happens to also be my birthday. What a great way to celebrate!

So if you love the Bay Area and see it as a land of wonder and possibility, like I do, come take a look.

A Map of Silidor Valley

C. J.

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

English: From a scanned version of Devonshire ...

He seems like a bit of a quiz…

Quiz: a prying person, an odd fellow. Oxford slang; lately admitted into dictionaries. Not mentioned by Johnson.

Quiz: to pry, or joke.

(Interesting that this particular bit of slang made it into the dictionaries. I wonder what that process was like. Who decided? How many people had to use the word before it was accepted? One wonders….)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

 

Illustration from below book

Illustration from below book (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Quisby: bankrupt, poverty stricken. Ho. Words, No. 183.

 

(I wonder the origins of that one. It’s a fun word, for a bad situation.  I looked up “Ho. Words, No. 183” which refers to a book called Household Words by John Camden Hotten, but it didn’t have any more info.)

 

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